The Great Expression
A new financial world will emerge from the rubble.
For the Love of the Game
Wall Street will take some time to recover as popular perception shifts. The opposite of love isn't hate-it's apathy-and we're still in the middle of that psychological migration.
The 90's were about wealth, accumulation and consumption and we've now entered a period that is entirely more austere, if not more sensible.
Debt reduction and the rejection of materialism will continue to manifest as we come to terms with doing more with less.
Flashy rides and big-ticket items that were once badges of honor now serve as hollow reminders of misplaced priorities.
Humility, once viewed as weakness, will be embraced.
Doing for others-rather than asking what others can do for you-will become more commonplace as people learn to appreciate what they have rather than constantly keeping up with the Dow Joneses.
It's a lesson I learned long ago and I'm a better man for it.
The industry is evolving and once it's done, it will look drastically different. After a gut-wrenching progression of consolidation and failures, we'll be left with far fewer players and a more regulated process.
There will always be a need for broker-dealer intermediaries but their roles will shift as a function of customer need. Access to information, total transparency and human capital will be central tenets of the success stories.
This mess is a bitter pill to swallow, particularly for the mainstream American who doesn't know a derivative from a dividend. We can point fingers and wallow in the "why" or take a deep breath and begin the process of recovery.
Something good comes from all things bad and the greatest wisdom is bred as a function of pain.
It's unfortunate that the structural foundation of the global capital market system had to shake before people-and policy makers-paid attention but it is what it is and we'll do what we must.
Surround yourself with people you trust. Practice risk management over reward chasing.
Preserve capital, reduce debt and become financially aware of your surroundings. It won't be an easy road but it won't be impossible either.
For as my grandfather Ruby used to tell me, "this too, shall pass."
The doors to Festivus 2008 are officially open! Lock your spot for the critter trot as last year's soiree sold out. This is our annual event to commingle our professors, partners and Minyans while chowing down and listening to live music. The very best part? It's for the kids in the good name of my grandfather.
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